Psilocybin is the naturally occurring psychedelic compound that causes hallucinations. Psilocybin mushrooms are fungi that grow in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, like North America, South America, Europe, and Australia. The active ingredient in psilocybin mushrooms is, naturally, psilocybin which gets converted to psilocin in your body. These fungi contain a type of protein called beta-carbolines which can be toxic to humans in high doses; however, when consumed responsibly they can have some benefits including improved mental health and decreased symptoms of depression. So are mushrooms addictive? Magic mushrooms are not physically addictive like other substances such as cocaine or heroin, but they can cause psychological addiction if taken often enough which we will go into detail about later in the article. There is no cure for magic mushroom addiction, but there are treatments available that may help you stop using these drugs once and for all. Keep reading to learn all about addiction to magic mushrooms.
What are psilocybin mushrooms?
Magic mushrooms are a classic hallucinogen that first gained prominence in the 1960s. They are a fungus-derived hallucinogenic drug that is commonly referred to as “shrooms”, psilocybin mushrooms, or hallucinogenic mushrooms and have been used for their psychoactive effects in religious rituals throughout human history. Psilocybe cubensis, or P. cubensis which is the most common psilocybin mushroom, was identified by Rolf Singer in 1958 as being unique from other psychedelic mushroom species due to its wide distribution and ease of cultivation.There are different types of mushrooms as there are a multitude of different species, all with slightly varying effects based on the amount ingested and personal reactions from user to user. The effect will also depend heavily upon environmental factors such as dosage, setting and mindset, previous experience with psychedelics or other drugs, general health and wellness, etc.
Psilocybin mushrooms are typically found in tropical and subtropical climates but have been known to be grown in other areas as well. In the United States, P. cubensis can be found in the South and throughout the Midwest, while P. semilanceata can be found on the East Coast from North Carolina to Maine, and west across the Rocky Mountains. Psilocybe cyanescens are located in temperate areas of North America, Europe, and Asia, while Copelandia cyanescens are found in the subtropical regions of Hawaii. These fungi contain the psychoactive substance psilocybin and can be ingested either by eating them or boiling them down to make tea. They have been used for thousands of years in spiritual practices by indigenous peoples around the world. Besides being found in nature, people have also started cultivating them at home.
What are the effects of psilocybin mushrooms?
When you ingest magic mushrooms orally in either fresh or dried form, it takes anywhere from 15 mins to an hour for the drug to take effect, and these hallucinogenic experiences last around four to six hours but onset time and duration can vary. The mental state that people enter into after ingesting psilocybin mushrooms is often referred to as a “tripping” state and can be a very positive experience. People often report having profound realizations about themselves or the nature of reality while on magic mushrooms on top of visual hallucinations, also called visuals. For these reasons people have been ingesting them for religious ceremonies and mystical experiences.
Magic mushrooms will typically hit you in various ways. There are psychedelic effects, which contain the hallucinogenic effects, physical effects, and psychological effects and we will break those down for you.
Psychdelic effects have to do with your sensory experiences. The most common psychedelic effects are:
- visual or auditory hallucinations
- distorted sense of time
- increased focus and clarity
- oneness with yourself and the universe
There are also some common physical effects when you take shrooms and these include:
- dilated pupils
- increased body temperature
- increased heart rate
- increased blood pressure
- dry mouth
There can be negative side effects and these are usually psychological. The common negative side effects include:
In severe cases, psychedelic drugs can even cause drug-induced psychosis. There are ways to help prevent these negative experiences though, and it involves being mindful of your “set and setting”. This simply means to make sure you are in a good mindset before you start tripping as being in a negative mindset is more conducive to a bad trip. Setting refers to your surroundings, both environment and people. Before tripping, make sure you are comfortable with the people and environment where you will be tripping. If you take these precautions it increases your chances of having a good trip and positive experience.
What are the effects of magic mushrooms on the brain?
The effects of mushrooms are believed to be because they contain psilocybin which is a serotonin-like psychedelic and it tricks the brain receptors into thinking it is serotonin. Psilocin, the active chemical in psilocybin mushrooms, mimics serotonin which is a neurotransmitter and regulates mood, among other things. It also impacts sensory perception which can explain the visual effects of magic mushrooms.
Are mushrooms addictive?
There are those that would argue that you cannot become addicted to psilocybin mushrooms because they are not chemically addictive. However, you can become psychologically addicted to psilocybin magic mushrooms or any other psychedelic drug for that matter. Psychological addiction involves feeling the need to take something in certain circumstances or settings. There are many examples of people who become psychologically addicted to psilocybin, like with any other hallucinogenic drug.
What happens if I abuse psilocybin mushrooms?
There are many negative consequences that can result from abusing magic mushrooms and a mushroom addiction. The most common consequences include:
- panic reactions
- flashbacks and worsening of previous trips
- cognitive impairment, such as memory loss, concentration issues, etc.
- decreased cognitive performance
- decreased psychological well-being and depressed moods
There are also physical side effects that can result from abusing psilocybin mushrooms. These include:
- digestion problems
- dizziness and migraines
- chest pains and increased heart rate
Because there is no physical addiction this means that most people who abuse them and want to stop will just stop taking the drug. If you are psychologically addicted, we have several recommendations for you below.
Is there treatment for addiction to psilocybin mushrooms?
There is no specific medical treatment that specifically treats addiction to mushrooms. However, there are many options available for those who have become addicted to psychedelics. The first step is to remove yourself from the triggering circumstances and put yourself in a good environment. After that, you can see your doctor to discuss treatment options with them. There are many different types of treatments available, each catering to different needs. These include:
- talk therapy
- group therapy
- family support groups and education sessions
- holistic therapies like meditation, yoga, and acupuncture
This is why it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible if you feel you are psychologically addicted to mushrooms.
Thank you for reading our article, should you have further questions please refer to our numerous other articles regarding magic mushrooms!
References, Research and Sources
- Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences | Johns Hopkins Medicine
- Single Dose of Hallucinogen May Create Lasting Personality Change – 09/29/2011
Fact Checked and Editorial Process
The Magical Mushroom is devoted to producing expert and accurate articles and information for our readers by tapping into psychedelic users, experts, journalists, and growing community. We encourage you to read more about our content, editing, and fact checking methods here. This was fact checked by Chris Riley.
Owner, entrepreneur, enthusiast of natural medicine